Monday, January 28, 2008

Just a Colon, Not a Period

I somehow managed to live 60-plus years without a colonostomy, but it finally caught up with me today. For 36 hours I ate nothing, for the last 12 hours I drank nothing, and in the interim I downed 64 ounces of poop medicine, took eight poop pills, and pooped fiften times. Beyond losing six pounds in a hurry, there's not much about the experience I'd recommend. I'm home now trying to get back to "normal," which has been, shall we say, a real gas. I was rather put off by the brochure sent in advance of my procedure, which in the fine print acknowledged that "in rare cases death from complications could ensue." That gave me pause, until I began to realize that death from complications was even more likely to ensue from undetected colon cancer. 'Twas a worthy risk, as it turned out: my insides seem smooth as a baby's behind, with nary a polyp to snip off.

Favorite among the myriad of bathroom humor I've heard during my weeks of preparation was an apocryphal story about St. Theresa of Avila. Supposedly one day she was in the outhouse eating a muffin and reading her prayer book when she was accosted by the Devil for blasphemy, intermingling the earthly and the heavenly. To which she replied, "The prayers are for God, the muffin is for me, and the rest is for you!"

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